Santa Claus, short film festival, circus musical


The next few days in and around Bloomington promise to be full of zest and joy.

Santa will be busy on Saturday as he is about to appear at the “Santa Claus on Sale Street” event in Ellettsville that morning and will then be at the Frank Southern Ice Arena this afternoon for Bloomington’s “Skate with Santa Claus.” On Sunday, short films by filmmakers and actors from Bloomington will be shown on the big screen of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for a free short film festival. On Tuesdays, residents can brew their own tea blend or watch a dazzling performance of musical fantasy and circus.

If you’re looking for a little holiday cheer or just a few ways to stay warm, here are some activities nearby for young and old.

Winterfest Craft Shop this weekend

Nine Bloomington artists will sell artwork at 702 W. Kirkwood Ave. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as from December 17 to 19. Masks are mandatory for this event.

The participating artists are: Margie Van Auken, art and original notes; Jessica Ruby Radcliff High, bohemian art dolls, books and CDs; Janet Helber Harlan, cloth dolls, quilted pillows, woolen hats; Karen Cherrington, Pen Art and Rock Plants; Vicki Helber, Handmade Tiles and Gourd Ornaments; Diane Jung, hats, hanging pearl and crystal jewelry; Sue Weshues, gourds of all kinds; Betty Westhues, fiber art; and Gary Daly, fiber art from Central America.

Santa on Sale Street this Saturday

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, downtown Elettsville will be lit with the holiday spirit at its annual Santa on Sale Street event.

Breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 201 N Sale St. Breakfast is $ 8 each and children five and under are free.

At 9:30 am, Santa will be heading to Ellettsville on a fire truck. Participants can glimpse his journey as he crosses Sale Street to get to the Ellettsville Branch Library. At the library, children can meet Santa Claus, pose for a free photo and receive a toy.

Holiday music and Christmas carols will echo through the downtown streets where many special activities and crafts will be available. Participants can decorate gingerbread cookies, enjoy hot chocolate, see balloon sculptures and more. Thurman’s Body Shop has put together an impressive racing track as well.

Saturday skating with Santa Claus

On Saturday afternoon, Santa Claus will visit the Frank Southern Ice Arena to bring a little cheerfulness. Residents will be able to skate to the sound of holiday music and enjoy some refreshments. Kids can also visit Santa to let him know what’s on their wish list. Entrants are encouraged to don their ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to win cool prizes.

The event begins Saturday at 1:30 pm Admission is $ 6 per person; children 4 and under are admitted free. Skate rental is $ 3.

Jiayi Grace Geng stars in the short film "Before the bonsai speak.

BAFT Studios to screen the first short film festival at BCT

Residents can support local filmmakers by attending this free screening at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

This Sunday, the Bloomington Academy of Film & Theater and Pigasus Institute will host its first annual short film festival. In BAFT studios, local participants work in front of and behind the camera alongside professionals to create short film projects in a collaborative environment.

Following:The Bloomington Academy of Film & Theater will present short films, “Pompano Boy”

This festival will feature 10 short films created by over 60 filmmakers of all ages and explore themes of friendship, fear, bullying, identity and more. In a short film titled “Before the Bonsai Speaks”, an Asian immigrant struggles between self-acceptance or loss of her cultural identity as she struggles to be accepted into the local garden club. Another project, “Six Weeks,” follows siblings who survive a cicada invasion.

The festival is divided into two parts with a 15-minute intermission. Part one of the festival presents five kid-friendly short films while second part includes films rated PG-13 for a more mature audience. Projects last 2 to 11 minutes.

The Short Film Festival takes place on Sundays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is a free event with no ticket office. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Participants must wear a mask inside and provide either a verification of COVID-19 vaccination status or a negative test result within 48 hours to enter the venue.

Blending your own tea workshop on Tuesday

Tea lovers can become connoisseurs during this tea blending workshop on Tuesday, December 14 from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. at FAR Contemporary Art Center, 505 West Fourth St. In the classroom, participants will learn to identify different flavor and aroma notes while exploring the unique flavor profiles of different types of tea leaves, herbs and flowers to find the right combination for their palace.

Participants will create their own personalized blend by manipulating the different components of the tea blend, such as the wide variety of herbs, flowers, roots, fruits and spices. There will be tasting sessions during the workshop and participants can prepare several different blends to take home.

Goods for Cooks provided the tools for the workshop while Blossom & The Bee Tea Company provided many herbs from their garden.

Tickets cost $ 50 each and can be purchased on Eventbrite via

Cirque Dreams Holidaze will bring acrobatic circus performers to the Indiana University Auditorium on December 14.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the IU auditorium

Tuesday night, there’s a family vacation show happening near you at the Indiana University Auditorium.

The Circus Dreams Holidaze is a whimsical blend of Broadway-style musical performances and contemporary circus art. On this show, the characters from the holiday storybook – ballerinas, nutcrackers, snowmen, reindeer, acrobats, gingerbread figures and ornaments – will come to life as they balance, juggle and s ‘soar through the air in an elaborate night of magic and mischief.

Over 20 critically acclaimed artists and circus acts, dressed in over 300 unique costumes, will perform in this stage show. Broadway singers will be singing original music and adding some new twists to seasonal favorites such as “Deck The Halls”, “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bell Rock”.

The Cirque Dreams Holidaze show will take place Tuesday at 7:30 pm Tickets start at around $ 30 and can be purchased at


Gerald R. Schneider